The Maldives and Japan signed four agreements on Monday, under which Japan will provide support for enhancing the Maldives’ maritime safety and security, and disaster response capabilities. The agreements were signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Moosa Zameer and Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives Takeuchi Midori at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking at the event, Minister Zameer expressed his gratitude for Japan’s continued support and emphasised the importance of this collaboration in advancing the Maldives’ socio-economic development. He also underscored Japan’s role as a key development partner and reaffirmed the Maldives’ commitment to enhancing the already strong diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The four exchange notes that were signed encompass the following agreements: The first is the provision of a Customs Patrol Craft under Japan’s Economic Cooperation Grant Act. The second involves a grant of JPY 260 million for implementing a project to enhance maritime safety and security.

The third agreement is a grant of JPY 600 million for the provision of equipment to strengthen the Maldives’ national response capacity to frequent natural hazards, focusing on community empowerment under the Economic and Social Development Programme. The fourth and final agreement is a grant of JPY 56 million for the provision of equipment to support the operations of patrol vessels for the Maldives Customs Service, also under the Economic and Social Development Programme.

“Japan committed US$ 2.3 million to provide 25-metre reconditioned patrol vessel and a variety of equipment supporting maritime operation,” said the Japanese Embassy in Maldives. “This is to swiftly assist the efforts of [Maldives Customs Service] to implement agile law enforcement at sea and combat illegal trade and drug trafficking.”

The Maldives and Japan have enjoyed over five decades of diplomatic relations, having established bilateral ties on 14 November 1967.